Monday, September 12, 2011

Mull it Over Monday: How Selling Antiques on Ebay Helped Me Appreciate Art

So pretty! old dresser pulls and lamp parts,
I sold 100's of these in sets and mixed lots
I've always enjoyed being an artist in one form or another, but there was a few years I did something else.  I sold antique door hardware and lighting on Ebay.  My days were filled with acquiring and listing wonderful old objects.  I learned so much and had great fun.

Japanese Bronze Cloisonne Lamps
Paid $60, sold for nearly $270.  Sweet!
 Something unexpected happened during those years:  There was a loosening in my critical thinking that allowed me to respond to art on an entirely new and fun level. I started enjoying art for art's sake.    I began looking at it-- not as an artist, but as a collector and home decorator. 

"The Favorite Cat" a Currier and Ives print
that looks like my favorite cat, Layla.  (:
Art I had never seriously considered became notable and in some cases quite desirable.  Collecting all kinds of art became a favorite activity!   Since I went back to painting fulltime, sadly some of that "loosening" reverted back to "snarky."  We went to a few art fairs over the summer and I couldn't stop comparing all the art I saw to what *I* do, I wasn't seeing it at all, really. 

Four of twelve Arts & Crafts
wood tiles, I wish I would have kept these! 

Artists have a tendency to forget:  Most folks (who do not make, think and obsess about their art 24/7) have a kinder, more personal approach to art appreciation.  Sentimental purchases are perfectly OK.   

Every Picture Tells a Story
 Art that reflects and communicates  lifestyle, hobbies and special interests is valuable!  --Technical proficiency isn't a top requirement...  Many art collectors just want to find something that compliments their decor.   Whenever I start to get uppity about other's art (and especially my own) I try to remember what collecting art was like when I sold antiques on Ebay.    


  1. that's a valuable point about remembering to really "see" art for what it is, without comparisons.

  2. good lesson in this writing! Thanks!

  3. You keep yourself quite busy, Diane. I see a lot of wonderful pieces here...and yes, its all a form of art.

  4. diane this is great. i can relate -- it's very freeing to "de-snarkify" yourself isn't it? it opens you up and your own work benefits. these "mull it over mondays" are really great -- i hope you keep posting them!

  5. wow, some of these would make amazing paintings! wonderful post!

  6. Wonderfully written, Diane. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Fun post. Love the photo of Layla! She doesn't look too happy about having her picture taken, though.

  8. Painterchum, yes exactly and it's hard NOT to compare! Roxanne, thank you. Rebecca, I hope to continue the MiOMs and "freeing" is exactly what I was trying to get across, de-snarkifying is a good thing! Suzanne, I have more than once wanted to paint door knobs and pretty dresser pulls! Oh and the old pot metal and stained glass lamps, those too. Thanks for commenting all!!


Diane Hoeptner Art Blog: Oh yay! A comment from YOU!!